Night Fae is the default covenant choice as the niya soulbind gives a mastery gain and a %HP buff on a one minute cooldown that synergises extremely well with the Demonic Consumption and Wilfreds legendary.
Dreamweaver will sim higher and it’s better than Niya if you can stay in your Field of Blossoms for most of the duration. Keep in mind that this makes you pretty much planted for a full 30 seconds every minute when you include the tyrant setup.
Necrolord is the second best choice and can most easily be summed up as the “buff demonbolt” covenant. The Decimating bolt, Power siphon, Sacrificed Souls, Balespiders and Shard of annihilation legendary all synergizes very well together.
This build sims equal or even higher than the highest Night Fae sims at the moment of writing this, but it is a PURE single target setup and any cleave or aoe will give Night Fae a clear edge. Night fae brings the multispec flexibility and is therefore represented more.
You see this covenant being played to great efficiency in PvP.
Kyrian and Venthyr do not currently bring anything exciting to demonology. Will update this section if it changes.
Soulbinds and Conduits
For general use I would recommend these conduits:
- Potency: Borne of Blood and Tyrant’s Soul is always picked. For third potency use Carnivorous Stalkers if Dreadlash is selected or Fel Commando if Demonic Strength is selected..
- Finesse: Fel Celerity and Demonic Momentum
- Endurance: Condenced anima sphere and Resolute Barrier
We are getting double legendaries in patch 9.2. These are limited to the covenant legendaries, and thus not all combinations are possible.
Night Fae Deadsoul Satchel: This is the most interesting one. It turns your Soulrot into a powerful one-minute cooldown and scales incredibly well up to 4 targets. It gives you the ability to funnel in combination with the wilfreds legendary, making your tyrant a 1-minute cooldown. This Legendary can also be played in combination with Grim Inquisitor's Calling and soul conduit, in which case you press every cooldown, including Soul Rot. It's very relaxing gameplay, and the AoE output, burst and sustained, is good without sacrificing too much single target.
Youtube video of PTR footage:
Necrolord Shard of Decimation: This legendary puts a bigger emphasis on Demonbolts and can be paired with power siphon for some truly large demonbolt crits. Initial sims put it below night fae + legendary in value, but this being the default PVP legendary, It's not completely dead. If you like big crits, this is for you.
Kyrian Languishing Soul Detrius: This legendary only gets its full effect when something dies during soul tithe's duration. It can be good in niche situations, but it is almost certainly not strong enough to push kyrian into the default choice.
Venthyr Impending Catastrophe: BIG AOE WOOP WOOP! It scales well when you pull 10 targets in and you max out the value of the legendary (capped at 10 targets), but night fae is more flexible and scales better into the lower target counts. This is more of a destruction choice since the damage from the covenant ability scales with destruction mastery.
Wilfred's Sigil of Superior Summoning on Finger or Wrist.
This is your go to allround and single target legendary. In a normal scenario with minimal downtime your Demonic Tyrant becomes a roughly 1 minute 5 seconds cooldown, which makes it sync up better with Night Fae’s Soul Rot and Grimoire Felguard (2min cd).
Grim Inquisitor's Dread Calling on Wrist or Neck For Dreadstalker Build.
This legendary greatly buffs your Call Dreadstalkers and performs extremely well in sustained aoe together with Dreadlash/From the Shadows and Carnivorous Stalkers.
Implosive Potential on Head or Belt
This legendary is great for Mythic+. It's the best-sustained AoE alternative, it is however a “dead” legendary on pure single target so you really want the bosses to have some spawning adds to make use of the legendary. The gameplay doesn't change in AoE as normal implosion cycles (see rotation guide for what implosion cycles are) are enough to maintain the haste buff.
Forces of the Horned Nightmare on Shoulders or Finger.
This legendary fills a lot of the same purposes as Grim Inquisitors with sustained AoE. Its not a bad legendary but it doesn't do anything that Grim Inquisitors or Wilfreds doesn't do better.
Relic of Demonic Synergy on Helmet or Shoulders.
This is the best legendary if you want to craft 1 legendary for all 3 specs. Its the best affliction legendary and high up on the Destruction charts as well.
Implosive Potential has some niche uses but I wouldn't recommend spending Soul Cinders on this unless you know what you are doing.
- 2-Set - Ripped From the Portal - Call Dreadstalkers has a 100% chance to summon an additional Dreadstalker
- 4-Set - Your Hand of Gul'dan has a 5%15% chance per Soul Shard to summon a Malicious Imp
These set bonuses are very powerful and plays into demonology's current strengths with a big focus on the demonic consumption talent. In terms of gameplay/rotation, nothing really changes from previous tiers, but talent choices will differ, especially once the max item level conduits and the 2+4 set are obtained.
The extra dreadstalker from the 2 set bonus makes dreadlash (talent) a comparable option in single target and WAY better on sustained AoE. Unless you are only looking for a heavy AoE burst every minute with demonic strength (talent), Dreadlash will be the defacto talent for all PvE content.
The 4 set bonus synergizes well with demonic consumption and plays into From the Shadows (talent) very well, and will be (unless nerfed) similar in DPS value to Summon Vilefiend. dreadlash/From The Shadows combo is BY FAR superior to demonic strength Vilefiend on any sustained aoe, so when it becomes equal or slightly better on single target, we will be saying bye-bye to the ol' Vilefiend talent, most likely.
Currently there are a couple of REALLY strong trinkets for Demonology Warlock.
Trinket sims for the season 4 dungeons are not currently done as of writing this. The guide will update if new info comes to light.
- Shadowed Orb of Torment (BiS). This trinket gives a massive 40 second duration mastery buff every 2 minutes, which lines up perfectly with the single target raid build.
- Soulletting Ruby drops from Theater of Pain and can have artificially increased value in a lot of situations by pressing it on an ad/trash mob that has lower health than your other target/targets. In short, this trinket means that if you can “abuse” it by pressing it on low hp targets consistently throughout a fight, it will be the best on use trinket by a large margin. This trinket was nerfed in Season 4 and has lost some value.
- The First Sigil. This trinket gives a HUGE amount of versatility on a very long cooldown. If you need damage at a very specific point in a fight this trinket can provide a huge buff to that window.
- Inscrutable Quantum Device. If you can guarantee stat proc from this trinket (use a macro to cast it on yourself when in execute range) this trinket is really good. Just be prepared to yell at your healers for having low mana.
- Sinful Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity. This is a PvP on use trinket that gives a flat amount of intellect on use. Because intellect is only a multiplier to the base value of tyrant damage and not Demonic Consumption it is not taken over Soulletting Ruby in Single target but it is a very strong choice for both single target and cleave and it is easy to obtain.
- Cabalist Hymnal (BiS). This trinket gives a stacking crit buff over 30 seconds before having a 30 second downtime. It's not a super interesting trinket but the average amount of crit you get is big enough to make it one of the best.
- Sinful Gladiator's Insignia of Alacrity is bought with Conquest points (PvP currency) and is just an all round very solid trinket.
- Infinitely Divisible Ooze drops from Plaguefall, but since you cannot obtain it through the fated system it will fall behind other trinkets at higher item level.